Back in present-day New York, Henry is leading his army of adults back to Neal’s apartment to get his camera for a museum trip, as if everything is hunky-dory back in Storybrooke. The boys head upstairs while Emma and Gold stay in the lobby because they’re over all of this. Suddenly, Hook storms in, knocks Emma aside and stabs Rumpelstiltskin right in the chest, taking a moment to hiss, “tick tock” into his ear before releasing his bloody hook. Emma hits him over the head and Neal rushes back downstairs to see what the commotion is. Baelfire knows Hook, sees his father injured and instinctively calls him “Papa.”
They manage to get him upstairs, but Gold is oozing something awful and immediately blames Henry for this, to which I say FINALLY. Conveniently enough, though he won’t say exactly why, Neal can sail a pirate ship, so they can steal the USS Invisible for the journey back to Storybrooke. When Emma outwardly wonders why, Neal points out that he spent time in other worlds before arriving in our reality, otherwise he’d be a few hundred years old. Still kind of hoping he’s a Lost Boy, possibly even Peter Pan. But maybe that’s just me.
Emma finally reads her texts and realizes that ish is going DOWN in Storybrooke.
I assume she then sticks her finger into Gold’s gaping flesh wound, because I’m not sure how else she managed to get him to tell her where his dagger was, but sure enough, The Two Idiots find it hidden ever-so-cleverly behind the minute-hand of the clock in the center of town.
Back in Fairytale Land, Young Snow tells her mother about her choice to not kill someone in her stead, and her mother tells her that she’s proud of her for fighting darkness and choosing good, something she would do over and over again for all of eternity. As if she momentarily saw this future for her daughter and found peace, the Good Queen falls into an endless sleep. Young Snow dons her mourning gown and tiara and goes to be a beacon of hope and light for her people, starting by placing a snowdrop on her mother’s lifeless body. (Okay that all sounded very dramatic, but GUYS. This part was REALLY SAD.)
Back in Storybrooke’s bell tower, Cora and Regina appear out of thin (purple) air and thus begins the battle of the Charmings vs. the Evil Regals. After a little back-and-forth, Cora summons Johanna, and Regina promptly rips her heart out.
Snow tries to reason with Cora, but as the Pretty Little Liars know, it’s impossible to reason with crazy. Between realizing that it wasn’t actually the Blue Fairy that visited her that night in the forest, but Cora herself, and also that Cora had poisoned her mother in the first place, poor Mary Margaret is at her wit’s end. Regina is increasing the drama of the situation by periodically squeezing Johanna’s heart and Mrs. Patmore probably wishes she was back at Downton Abbey right about now. Snow gives up the dagger to save her dear old friend, but Cora wants to prove her point that it’s not good or evil that wins, but power, so she chucks the poor maid out the window.
Finally back in her office, Regina confronts her mother about not knowing Cora killed Snow’s mother to make her queen. Upon realizing this, Regina also figures out that Cora had set up the very pretense under which she had met – and saved – Young Snow. Cora asks her, like a mother or a therapist, how knowing this affects her at all, but Regina, like a daughter or someone in therapy, dodges the question. She’s mostly concerned with how they’re going to kill anyone without Henry knowing it was them if the Charmings know they have the dagger. Cora, as usual, is less concerned.